Highlighting One Of Klang Town Most Popular Driving School – Sekolah Memandu Sentosa
My teachers used to advise me, if you think you are smart, don’t forget, there’s always someone who is smarter than you. I have been a driving instructor now for 39 years. But I have a friend, Mr. Chin Yon Hook, who has been an instructor since 1967. That totals 42 years!
Today, I would like to highlight one of Klang town foremost and well known driving school – the Sentosa Driving School.
The word “sentosa”, means tranquility. In short, it means a business that would run smoothly, without any upheavals.
This popular driving school was started by my close buddy, Mr. Chin Yon Hook and Encik Abdul Rahman. Its office was located in Taman Berkeley, Klang.
The founding of Sentosa Driving School or Sekolah Memandu Sentosa, was made after Malaya achieved its independence. To be exact, it was set up in 1967.
Before setting up this school, Mr. Chin worked with the Klang & Coast Driving School, under the control of Mr. Khoo Boon Kim. Later, another relative, a Mr. Kim Tian, was to join Mr. Khoo in his enterprise.
According to Mr. Chin, the proprietor of Sekolah Memandu Sentosa, is of “Khek” origin. Mr. Chin, was born in Klang.
Prior to setting this driving school, which was to grow rapidly to become one of Klang town’s most well known driving school, Mr. Chin worked with Lam Soon Soap Factory in Petaling Jaya.
Mr. Chin, told me in an interview, in the early days, few people learned driving then. Petrol was only RM1.30 per gallon. The R.I.M.V. (Registrar and Inspector of Motor Vehicles ) then had its office located in front of the Odeon theater in Jalan Batu, Kuala Lumpur.
Delving into his memories, Mr. Chin said the Director of the R.I.M.V. then was Mr. Kok Chee Sun. When pressed further, Mr. Chin said learning driving at that time was only RM130. Presently, the price of learning how to drive a car is roughly RM850 – RM1000. Furthermore, most driving schools then were using Mini Minor cars.
Coming back to relate the history of Sekolah Memandu Sentosa, it was given to operate under permit B/PSM/0110. Mr. Chin himself used a Mini Minor vehicle registration number CB 5237.
Sekolah Memandu Sentosa was to grow so rapidly that within a short period of time, it was to become one of Klang’s most popular and well known driving school.
Today, Mr. Chin is better known as C.B., a name which soon stuck to him as the registration number of his car. That’s how popular and well known he was to become!
According to Mr. Chin, driving instructors in those days did not possess the S.M.2 or certificate to teach. All one needed was 3 years driving experience.
When asked, what was the most memorable incident he could remember regarding the driving school industry, Mr. Chin without hesitation said, “the burning down of the J.P.J. office in Petaling Jaya in 1974”.
And when asked again, why the Sentosa Driving School grew so fast to become one of Klang’s elite driving schools, Mr. Chin said because:
i) Sentosa Driving School capability to do things which other driving schools could not do.
ii) Its aggressive attitude which led it to achieve many things which others couldn’t.
Mr. Chin, as the business proprietor, was to lead it to become one of Klang’s top driving schools. Only the people in Klang can verify this authenticity.
Why was his business able to rise above the other driving institutions in Klang?
Mr. Chin believes his good rapport with a few top officers of the Selangor J.P.J. was responsible.
For your information, Mr. Chin was elected as the leading driving school’s spokesman. He eventually became the President of the Klang & Coast Driving Association.
Sekolah Memandu Sentosa, was given the opportunity to set up its own pool car, challenging Klang’s Pool Car establishment.
Over the years, thousands of students have passed through the hands of this renowned driving school instructor.
When asked, which car represents the best model to be used for driving by students, without hesitation, his reply was the Datsun 1200. Costing only approximately RM6700 then, its low fuel consumption, its durability and its lasting steering makes it a top vehicle for driving tuition purposes.
Sentosa Driving School was amongst one of the earliest driving establishment in Klang town was to be given the responsibility to conduct the K.P.P. (Kursus Pendidikan Pemandu) 5 Hours course. For this, Sekolah Memandu Sentosa was lucky to obtain the service of top J.P.J.’s officials in the likes of Encik Hamzah and Encik Sanusi, who has since passed away.
Sentosa Driving School is still operating rather actively in the field of providing driving tuition to Klang residents, even today. Presently, Mr. Chin Yon Hook operates directly from his house, which acts as an office. During school holiday seasons, Mr. Chin would have more than 50 potential students calling him for his service!
What was Mr. Chin’s opinion regarding the impending proposal to the introduction of “auto” car into the driving school industry?
He was surprisingly against this movement.
Why? Because according to him, those who learnt in auto cars will in future not be able to drive G.D.L. vehicles which are mostly “manual” geared.
Having been involved in the driving arena for over 42 years, what was his most disappointing moments with his students?
To this he reiterated, some students have approached him requesting for “special test”, as they said they wanted to migrate overseas top pursue further studies. To his dismay, he has met many such students in his visit to England for example. These students are now working in restaurants there instead.
After 42 long years in the driving industry, does Mr. Chin plan to retire from this industry eventually?
Mr. Chin says he plans to continue as long as health permits. Helping people to secure a driving license is his most ardent wish.
Has he ever helped deserving students to secure licenses?
To this his reply was Yes!
Poor parents who approached Mr. Chin have been given special treatment. Well, that’s the type of person Mr. Chin is!
What does Mr. Chin’s regard to the introduction of driving institutes in Malaysia today?
To this he laments, it has diminished driving school’s chances to do business. This has also led to the demise of many driving schools in Malaysia today.
What, amongst the services does Mr. Chin’s Sentosa Driving School provide to the public today? The services are:
i) Undang-undang tests services.
ii) Renewal of road tax and licenses.
iii) Insurance services.
iv) Services regarding loss of license etc.
Mr. Chin, one should be informed, is an avid traveler. He has gone to many countries across the world such as South Africa, England, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia etc.
To end this article, it must be made known, Mr. Chin Yon Hook, an experienced driving instructor of over 42 years is extremely lucky to be blessed with 3 children. He has 2 girls and a boy.
His eldest daughter is currently working as an air hostess with Singapore Airlines. The second is in England, working as a beautician. The youngest boy is currently pursuing his further studies in England.
Talking with this dedicated driving school instructor, I get the feeling that the death of his wife many years ago, still affects him.
Amongst his aims, is to meet people of all walks of life who are smitten with illness and help them wherever possible.
Mr. Chin has surprisingly remained single, even though, his wife passed away more than 15 years ago.
Asked if he still possess the “dream” of setting up his own institute one day. Mr. Chin Yon Hook reiterated, “I certainly do!”.
To that, myself, who happens to be a close friend of his, wishes him all the very best. May his dream become a reality!
And where does he intend to set his latest institute?
In Taman Sentosa, Klang of course!
By the way, Taman Sentosa bears his driving school name, do not forget that. Funny isn’t it?
If you have any question in regards to Mr. Chin Yon Hook and his driving school in Klang, feel free to put your question in the comment section below.
What do you think?
A really interesting article. I hope Mr.Chin Yon Hook does set up his driving institute in the not too distant future.
Thank you for your encouraging comments.
Mr. Chin and myself will be going to Putrajaya to get the necessary forms. God willing, the institute will be set up in the intended location.
I have met Mr Chin during my recent stay in Malaysia as i was staying at his house in Klang. I was deeply touched by the hospitality and the warmth welcome received from himself and his family. Mr Chin is really a great man with a big heart and all his children are adorable.
I sincerely wish he can fulfill all his dreams and wish him all the best.
What you said about Mr. Chin and his family are all trues. Glad that you had a wonderful time during your recent stay there.
Cikgu Yap, I just wondering if every sifu also that fierce? I just completed my 6 hours lesson & the sifu who in-charge of teaching have a very impatient & extremely fierce all the time during the lesson. I have find trouble in concentrating when he was scolding me at the same time. I was just wondering is it alright to requst my driving academy to change others sifu to me? I’m kinda stress & find it a phobia to learn driving whenever i think of facing him.
There are many instructor who are patient and understanding. Looks as if you have been unlucky to get one who isn’t. I sympathise with you.
Hi, my sis hasn’t been driving for 20+ yrs but still holds a valid car license. Possible to give me contacts for re-fresher coaching in driving & can use our auto-geared car. May I know what are the charges ? We’re at Bdr.Bkt Tinggi…